During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, a view developed that once the home quarantine ended, there would be a tidal wave of divorce actions surging into the New York courthouses. With New York City well into Phase 4, all remains calm. There has been no significant rise in the number of divorce actions commenced in New York when compared to last year at the same time; and, lines are not curling around city blocks outside of the offices of matrimonial attorneys.

Has anything changed in New York family law since March 18 when Governor Andrew Cuomo shuttered the State? YES. The change is very subtle—probably immediately imperceptible. The change is not by executive order, legislative enactment or judicial order. This change will emerge over time (weeks, months maybe even years in some places) as cases snake their way through the court system and when settlement negotiations begin in earnest. This change is one that has been experienced by numerous litigants, attorneys and judges—at least those who parent a child within the primary school system.

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